How the Doughty Duke of Albany like a Coward Knight ran away shamefully with an Hundred Thousand Tratling Scots and Fainthearted Frenchmen, beside the Water of Tweed

(An extract from)

by John Skelton


     O ye wretched Scots,
Ye puant pisspots,
It shall be your lots
To be knit up with knots
Of halters and ropes
About your traitorsí throats.
O Scots perjured,
Unhaply ured,
Ye may be assured
Your falsehood discured
It is and shall be, from the Scottish sea
Unto Gabione,
For ye be false each one,
False and false again
Never true nor plain,
But fleery, flatter and feign,
And ever to remain
In wretched beggary
And maungy misery,
In lousy loathsomeness
And scabbed scorfiness,
And in abomination
Of all manner of nation,
Nation moost in hate,
Proud and poor of state:
     Twit, Scot, go keep thy den,
Mell not with English men.
Thou did nothing but bark
At the castell of Warke:
     Twit, Scot, yet again once.
We shall break thy bones
And hang you upon poles
And burn you all to coals,
With twit, Scot, twit, Scot, twit.
Walk, Scot, go beg a bit
Of bread, at ilke manís heck.
The fiend, Scot, break thy neck.
Twit, Scot, again I say,
Twit, Scot of Galloway,
Twit, Scot, shake thee, dog, hey!
Twit, Scot, thou ran away.
     We set not a fly
By your Duke of Albany.
We set not a prane
By such a drunken drane,
We set not a mite
By such a coward knight,
Such a proud palliard,
Such a skirgalliard,
Such a stark coward,
Such a proud poltroon,
Such a foul coistrown,
Such a doughty dagswain.
Send him to France again
To bring with him more brain
From King Francis of France.
God end them both mischance.
     Ye Scots all the rabble,
Ye shall never be able
With us for to compare,
What though ye stamp and stare.
God send you sorrow and care.
     With us whenever ye mell
Yet we bear away the bell,
When ye cankered knaves
Must creep in to your caves
Your heads for to hide,
For you dare not abide,
     Sir Duke of Albany,
Right inconveniently
Ye rage and ye rave
And your worship deprave.
Not like Duke Hamilcar,
With the Romayns that made war,
Nor like his son Hannibal,
Nor like Duke Hasdrubal
Of Carthage in Alfike.
Yet somewhat ye be like
In some of their conditions
And their false seditions
And their dealing double
And their wayward trouble:
But yet they were bold
And manly manifold
Their enemies to assail
In plain field and battail.
     But ye and your hoost
Full of brag and boost
And full of waste wind,
How ye will bears bind,
And the devil down ding,
Yet ye dare do nothing
But leap away like frogs
And hide you under logs
Like pigs and like hogs.
What an army were ye?
Or what activity
Is in you beggars, brawls,
Full of scabs and scalls:
Of vermin and of lice
And of all manner vice?
John Skelton | Classic Poems
[ How the Doughty Duke of Albany... ] Philip Sparrow ] The Requiem Mass ]





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